Do you know that over ninety percent of people who are sexually active will have come in contact with HPV at least once in his/her lifetime? Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV, is an infectious emerging disease that has become one of the number one causes of cervical cancer in women. With a startling increase in HPV prevalence research has been encouraged to discover more about this virus and how it causes cervical cancer. Fifteen years ago, not many knew what HPV was and there was very little research conducted on the virus. Since such little information was known about it, HPV was not even taught in the Sexual Education class as a sexually transmitted virus. Throughout years of research scientists, doctors, and medical staff have discovered what HPV is, how one contracts the virus, the symptoms or lack of symptoms, treatment and prevention for HPV.
In the United States and the world, HPV has become one of the most commonly sexually transmitted diseases. According to the California Medical Association (CMA), approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV, with an estimated 6.2 million new genital HPV infections each year (CMA). There are about 100 different subtypes of HPV in which thirty-forty of the subtypes can infect the genital area. The HPV virus can be classified into two different categories high-risk HPV and low-risk HPV. HPV type 6 and 11 are considered as the low risk genital types, causing genital warts. HPV 16 and 18 contribute towards cervical cancer and fall under the high-risk genital types. HPV 16 and 18 infect the cervical cells causing them to be abnormal turning them into pre-cancerous and then if not treated cancerous cells. The American Cancer Society stated that, in 2010, there was 12,200 new cases of cervical cancer and projected that 4,210 deaths will occur from cervical cancer. Among the 12, 200 new cases of cervical cancer ninety-percent of them are caused or attributed to HPV (ACS).
So how does one contract HPV? Both men and women can contract HPV, but according to Division of Molecular Virology, it is more prominent in women vs. men and those who are twenty-four years in age (DMV). It can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners—even when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms. It is most commonly passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal or anal sex; however, it also can be passed on through oral sex. It is rare but there have also been some studies that show it can be passed on through indirect contact of contaminated objects or surfaces for example: sex toys and underwear. In order to not contract HPV, one would suggest abstinence, practicing safe sex by wearing condoms, and limiting one’s sexual partners.
If one does contract HPV he/she needs to be aware of the symptoms in order to get it treated and not pass it on to others; unfortunately, there are no symptoms for HPV. According to the Division of STD prevention, Most HPV-16...